Access to The Champion archive is one of many exclusive member benefits. It’s normally restricted to just NACDL members. However, this content, and others like it, is available to everyone in order to educate the public on why criminal justice reform is a necessity.
Each November 11, on the anniversary of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I, we honor our nation’s veterans on what we now call Veterans Day. There are currently more than 22 million living veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. I am one of them. I served in Vietnam. And I know firsthand the enormous sacrifices young men and women make in service to our nation.
We provide significant training to our servicemen and women for battle and send them to far off lands directly into harm’s way. For many of those fortunate enough to return, however, they carry with them unimaginable trauma. It’s estimated that of the nearly three million who went to Vietnam, up to half returned suffering long-term psychological effects. The challenges faced by returning Vietnam veterans led to hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans being imprisoned, addicted, or homeless. More than two and one-half million men and women have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is estimated that more than half of a million of those veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, with a similar number having suffered traumatic brain injury. And it is reported that 22 or more U.S. veterans commit suicide each day.
Among the ways in which our nation has failed its veterans is in the criminal justice system. When I assumed the presidency of NACDL this past summer, I made a commitment that this association would expand its advocacy and the commitment of America’s criminal defense bar to our returning veterans. At NACDL’s September mental health symposium in Denver, Colo., more than 400 attendees at this standing-room only event received training on litigating combat veterans’ mental impairment issues in criminal court. And last spring, as I mentioned in my August column, the focus of NACDL’s Executive Committee retreat was on veterans’ issues in the criminal justice system.
At the retreat, we immersed ourselves in this critical subject, with in-depth presentations from some of the nation’s leading figures in this area. The Honorable Robert T. Russell, Jr., who in 2008 created and began presiding over the nation’s first Veterans’ Treatment Court, spoke to us. We also heard from expert defense attorneys in this area — Brockton Hunter, who presented at the Denver symposium, and Ryan Else. Karen Carrington, veterans justice outreach specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs, also shared her extensive knowledge with the association’s leadership.
NACDL will soon record a similarly exhaustive briefing on issues related to defending veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system, moderated by NACDL Senior Resource Counsel Vanessa Antoun. This will be the first in my presidential series on this critically important topic. This educational resource will be made available to NACDL members for viewing on the website. I strongly encourage all of my brothers and sisters in the criminal defense bar to avail themselves of this opportunity to get training on the unique challenges that veterans face in the criminal justice system. There could be no better way for Liberty’s Last Champions to honor our veterans this year and every year.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
NACDL 2024 Annual Pass - All CLE Institute Programs
NACDL's 2024 Annual Pass gives you full access to the recordings of every CLE Institue live training seminar held in 2024! That means every CLE speech, presentation and training - along with all accompanying written materials - is yours for over 50% off! With this exclusive pass, you gain unlimited access to a treasure-trove of recent NACDL Trial Skills training that will help you win more cases!
A Defender's Guide to Federal Evidence - 2nd Edition
This brand-new 2nd Edition 2024 Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The updated 2024 Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The 2nd Edition Guide contains multiple new and updated user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems.
Sexual Assault Trial Skills Training Collection - 40+ Hours of Content!
NACDL's "Sexual Assault Trial Skills Training Collection" is the definitive aggregation of our 4 highest-rated and most current Sex Cases CLE trainings (2019, 2021, 2022 & 2023 ed.) and contains our most comprehensive and up-to-date assembly of sex cases trainings that NACDL has ever put together! Containing 49 separate trial skills trainings, thousands of pages of written materials and over 40+ hours of practical and pragmatic content, this collection guides you through the most intimidating sexual assault criminal trial topics.